Argo’s design after 2020:  OneArgo

Argo’s design needs to adapt as technologies and requirements change.  In fact, the Argo array has been able to improve and advance in part due to technological innovations like improved batteries to extend float lifetimes, high speed telecommunications and others which are described here.

A new global design is under development, which includes three elements:

  1. driving towards spatial completeness to include Polar sea-ice zones and marginal seas
  2. increasing regional resolution in key areas like the Western Boundary currents and equatorial regions
  3. major new missions:  BioGeoChemical (BGC) and Deep Argo missions

Pilots of these elements are underway and will help inform how Argo’s new design is refined.

The key to the OneArgo array design is that BGC and Deep Argo floats contribute to the core float data stream with 10-day cycles, profiling to at least 2000dbar and parking at 1000dbar.


We will dramatically increase end-user value both directly and indirectly through fueling:

  1. fundamental ocean research
  2. new dimensions of climate assessment
  3. educational engagement
  4. improved long and short term ocean, climate and ecosystem state estimates and forecasts

This will enable:

  1. better climate intelligence to sensitive industries, such as agriculture, energy, aquaculture, fisheries, insurance, and resource extraction
  2. governments to better manage pollution dispersion, search and rescue, and national defense
  3. syntheses with satellite observations to close global and regional sea level rise and energy budgets, vital for tracking global change
  4. more accurate climate projections enabling better societal adaptation


  • Significant new resources are needed – roughly 4-5 times the current investment
  • Requires strong community support and advocacy
  • We must phase the transition to allow time to cross technical and logistical hurdles, as they arise, and grow capacity at our suppliers
  • Ensure our data management teams are ready and able to handle the new data streams
  • Continue to grow and strengthen our national and international partnerships